It’s Time For Some Old-Media Types To Start Living In The Present
This topic fits in with the Bismarck Tribune’s decision to ban online comments yesterday. Earlier this week Grand Forks Herald publisher Mike Jacobs lamented the decline of political discourse. In fact, the headline of his column was, “Political discourse disappears in America.”
I was struck by that, because I’m not sure there was ever a time when more political discourse was taking place in America. So I wrote a rebuttal to Jacobs’ column. Here’s an excerpt:
Grand Forks Herald, mike jacobs, North Dakota News
Jacobs hearkens back to some golden age of journalism when reporters and editors were paragons of fairness. The truth is this era never existed. I hate to disabuse Jacobs and others of certain fairy tales, but Walter Cronkite was biased. Dan Rather was biased, so much so that it ensnared him in a scandal — running a manufactured smear on a sitting president just months before a national election — that ultimately ended his career.
What was missing in Cronkite’s age (though not Rather’s, as he found out) was competition that give a different point of view or a different angle on the facts.
What is really motivating Jacobs’ griping, I believe, is that newspaper editors aren’t as influential as they once were.